Loma Grande Nursery

By | March 9, 2010

The Mashi Foundation has been working closely with the community in Loma Grande, the fire service in Patate and with Dr Marielena Carrera in order to set up the nursery.  We have spent time planning the project, working in conjunction with the mayor of Patate to ensure the opening runs smoothly.  The president of the community, Dona Myriam has worked very hard and with the community have identified three women who will work in the nursery.  They have been chosen by the whole community and have an interest in working in this environment with the children.

Mashi has bought all of the equipment needed for the nursery; the chairs, tables, toys, books, toiletries, cooker, refrigerator, everything that was needed to provide the children with all that they need.  J2, the fireman (“bombero”) in Patate came to Quito with a truck to pick all of this up as well as myself and Marielena!  We arrived in Patate 3 hours later and met with the 3 women and Myriam to plan for the next day.  We arranged to arrive at Loma Grande at 10am with all the equipment and some additional help from some of the young volunteer “bomberos”.  The mayor had also agreed to visit at this time to see what it was that we were doing there.

The arrival of the nursery equipment
The arrival of the nursery equipment

On our arrival, Myriam and the other women involved proudly showed us the nursery which they had painted a lovely yellow.  They had wanted to make the nursery a nice place for the children and had decided to paint it in secret!  It was a lovely surprise and emphasised to me how willing they were to work in partnership and how dedicated they are to improving the lives of their children. (Please see Gallery for more photos from the day)

We spent the next few hours putting in all the equipment, all of the children helping us, once they had gotten over the shock.  We were rewarded for our efforts by a plate of “choclo y Cuy”, sweet corn and guinea pig, a local delicacy. 

The day after our visit, Myriam and the 3 women came down to Patate to meet with us.  They were very positive about the nursery and looking forward to it opening, just waiting for the signed documents for the legalisation from the mayor.  They have all committed to working with us and the first requirement was to have some basic health checks, given that they will be working with the children.  We were able to buy the appropriate medication for them and this was given and explained to them. 

The biggest health problem they have is parasites.  We were able to provide them with medication that will keep them parasite free for a number of months but needs to be repeated on a regular basis.  We also need to provide the rest of the community with this medication, particularly the children as parasites cause sickness and diarrhoea which in turn contributes to malnourishment and underdevelopment. 

In addition, the women are attending training sessions at the fire station every two weeks and will spend some time focused on developing literacy and IT skills.  Although anxious and lacking in confidence in this area, they are willing to try and develop their skills.  Dr Marielena has also arranged for them to come to Quito to talk to another organisation that has done similar work and we will visit a nursery here to see how it runs and for them to increase their knowledge and resources.

It is very important that we work in conjunction with the community and that they are in agreement with the work we are doing.  Decisions are made jointly and with discussion.  This is just the start of our working relationship and Mashi is committed to supporting them.  I was able to talk with the women about some ideas of self -sustainability and how we can look for ways to maintain the running of the nursery within the community.  We have identified some ways and are now looking at what is possible.  I will keep you up to date with these and hopefully in the near future you will see how these are developing.

In addition to finding a method of sustainability within the community, Mashi is committed to looking for sponsors who can help support the children.  We need to be able to provide them with meals each weekday and need your support for this.  If you are interested and think you may be able to help, please email me at info@mashifoundation.org

I hope to hear from you,


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